Saskatchewan's rainy last month 'what Junes are supposed to be like': weather expert

Pike Lake Provincial Park camp ground after receiving about four inches of rain over 24 hours, according to Saskatchewan Parks, leading into the Canada Day long weekend. (Lisa Shutiak - image credit)
Pike Lake Provincial Park camp ground after receiving about four inches of rain over 24 hours, according to Saskatchewan Parks, leading into the Canada Day long weekend. (Lisa Shutiak - image credit)

June is typically the wettest month in Saskatchewan. This year, after several dry summers, it finally felt that way.

After consecutive years of drought in Saskatchewan, most regions are experiencing more rain in June than usual. Meadow Lake had its eighth wettest June in more than 70 years of records and Yorkton its 15th wettest. In Saskatoon, it's the most rain in the past decade.

But that feeling of excessive rain is just a sign the province is returning to normal, one meteorologist said.

"I think we have a little bit of recency bias in that we think that Junes are supposed to be hot and dry," said Terri Lang, meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

"This is what Junes are supposed to be like: they're supposed to be rainy, and thundershowers, and a little bit of sunshine here and there, a little bit of wind."

There has been more rainfall in Saskatchewan in the month of June than usual, returning to a normal rainy season that has evaded the province in recent years.
There has been more rainfall in Saskatchewan in the month of June than usual, returning to a normal rainy season that has evaded the province in recent years.

There has been more rainfall in Saskatchewan in the month of June than usual, returning to a normal rainy season that has evaded the province in recent years. (Environment and Climate Change Canada)

Lang wasn't certain what has led to the increased June rain compared with past years, but said it could be El Niño — the global weather pattern that gave a more wild and dry winter — breaking down.

Like Saskatchewan, most western provinces are getting more rain, Lang said.

Thunderstorms ravaged some communities in June, tearing pieces of roof from businesses in Carrot River and Estevan. They also brought joyous moisture to farmers with land that has been dry and cracked in recent years.

The Pike Lake Provincial Park campground had sections of localized flooding after heavy rainfall leading into the Canada Day long weekend.

Pike Lake Provincial Park campground on Friday after several inches of rainfall.
Pike Lake Provincial Park campground on Friday after several inches of rainfall.

Pike Lake Provincial Park campground on Friday after several inches of rainfall. (Lisa Shutiak/Facebook)

Saskatchewan Parks posted on social media that the park had received four inches of rain in the 24 hours leading up to Friday afternoon.

Lisa Shutiak, a seasonal camper at Pike Lake Provincial Park, said she can't remember the last time this much rain swept through the campground.

She described it as cold, windy and somewhat scary to watch the water rise.

"I believe it was 2015 when a lot of water came through, but not to the extent that it was this time," Shutiak said.

"Some of the sites were full … of water, there were sites that had campers in it where people vacated. People had logs to make it to their campers."

Park manager Chris Honig said Wednesday that it got as deep as a couple inches in some areas during the rain, but much of the water had been pumped out and all campsites were operational.